A Brief Look At The Four Forms Of Medical Waste

Whether you own and operate a medical facility or are just a curious consumer, medical waste is something pretty much everyone should be able to recognize. It is often assumed that medical waste is something only those in a medical treatment facility should be concerned about, but this is not always the case. Medical waste is trash that is deemed a biological threat to the public if it is not properly disposed of and this form of waste comes in several different forms. Here is a look at the four primary types of medical waste:

Liquid Medical Waste 

Liquid medical waste can be the result of specific procedures in a medical setting, but it can also remain after incidents in private residences or businesses of a certain nature. Liquid medical waste can be basically any form of bodily fluid, whether it is blood or urine. If liquid waste is not properly handled, it can wash into water systems, contaminate the ground, and be a major threat to the surrounding environment. This form of waste is common in medical settings, but can also result from things like giving birth at home or a violent crime in a private place.

Solid Medical Waste 

Solid medical waste refers primarily to objects that are contaminated with biological matter, such as blood or human tissue. A few examples of solid medical waste would include things like:

  • treatment gloves
  • culture swabs
  • petri dishes 
  • gauze pads

Sharp objects are a solid waste but are not included in this form of medical waste because those objects have their own designations and ways to be handled. 

Sharps Medical Waste

Sharp medical waste, often referred to simply as sharps, is anything that has a sharp end or point that could be contaminated with biological matter. For example, syringes, needles, and surgical instruments are typically considered sharps. Sharps are a major concern in medical waste because they can cause injury by piercing the skin if they are not in an approved waste container.

Pathologically Related Medical Waste

For everything else that does not fall into the categories already given, it is usually deemed as pathological waste. Most often, pathological medical waste is relative to human tissue, so this could be anything from harvested organs to severed body parts. This form of waste is mostly found in medical treatment facilities, but there is always a chance pathological medical waste is present in other situations. 

Contact a company like Peyton Services for more information and assistance.